I have recently graduated from college with my bachelors. I am not worried about my grades or GPA when applying to PA school however, I am worried about if I am doing the right Patient Care Experience or Health Care Experience. I am currently working 40 hours a week as a Physical Therapy Technician and that counts as PCE at most PA schools however, I am not interacting with the patients and learning as much. I mostly do laundry, clean up tables, and sometimes show patients exercises. I am thinking of becoming a medical scribe with Proscibe but, only working 24 to 30 hours a week. I am going to become a CNA during the fall and work part time with one job and a CNA job however, I am not sure I sure stay as a Physical Therapy Tech or become a Medical Scribe. I plan to apply to a PA program in April of 2020.
I’ve recently been offered a position as a dialysis tech in an outpatient center. I shadowed the other day and the staff seamed friendly. My main duties would be weighing patients, cannulating them and setting up the machines, drawing labs, and monitoring their vitals throughout treatment. This all would be under the supervisions of an RN. I would work 8 and 10 hour shifts. I was hoping someone who has worked as a dialysis tech or knows someone who has could give me feedback about their experiences. I do already have 2 years experience volunteering as an EMT-A on a fairly busy service and plan on continuing to do so.
I have also been invited to interview for a medical assistant position at an urgent care, but the interview is after the deadline to decide if I’m going to accept the dialysis position.
The pros I see in working as a dialysis tech: Getting to know my patients and their cases. Experience in the chronic disease side of medicine.
Cons: It’s could be repetitive work and I would really only learn about kidney disease.
I wish at 18, I would've chosen the pre-pa route and gotten an associate's degree in DMS or an echo cardiogram tech then continued to get certified in different specialties. I may have taken pre med courses as well. Became a CNA and worked in many different specialties, hospitals, hospice, nursing and rehab facilities for experience, money, connections, letters of recommendation, on the job training to get certified in imaging, phlebotomy, resp tech, occupational or physical therapy technicians, basic EMT 1-IV, ER tech, pharmacy tech, and become a American Red Cross CNA trainer or at least CPR, AED, BLS, first aid and phlebotomy instructor's. Setting up blood drives, charity events etc. Too many ideas to count. I know now that being a healthcare professional is my calling. Some ppl can just play the piano, which I can't, but medicine/biology/anatomy, makes perfect sense. But, I'm 40 now, and my Psychology degree I got in 2001 afforded me sales positions from food broker territory manager, pharmaceutical sales, animal diagnostic laboratory sales manager. I worked from home and travelled all over. I liked being my own boss, and other's as well. I then became a seller and writer of mortgages. Now, I have been on disability for 10yrs and am ready to do what I was meant to. I just wish I was younger. That's why it's important for me to manage my time and not waste a minute doing something that isn't going to help me get in a program.
I'm brand new to this forum. I graduated with a degree in biology and a gpa of 3.52, and was planning to go to medical school the whole way through, while also thinking a lot about PA school. I was ready to apply to med school while I was finishing college, but decided to take some time away from the academic environment to make sure I really wanted to do med school. After almost a year of soul-searching, researching and deliberation (in addition to the last 4 years), I have finally decided that PA is a more appropriate career path for me. I had a great mcat score (93%) and I had all of the volunteer and leadership experience to make me a competitive applicant for med school. Now that I'm looking at PA schools, I need to get my direct patient care hours, take anatomy and physiology (I didn't do the whole series since medical schools don't require it), possibly take statistics, and possibly take the GRE.
I have 400 hours of MA experience (not certified). I know the doctor personally and worked there for 4 months, I learned a lot but it was a very disorganized clinic. I have about 200 hours working as an EMT-B. I'm wondering if I should keep working as an EMT for a year and apply for the 2021 cycle once I take anatomy and physiology at my community college. I've looked at a lot of threads on the internet and from what I've found, paramedic is the best prep for being a PA; things like, "they were a head and shoulders above the rest of their class," and "they were very experienced with patient assessments and had great clinical presence." I've also heard that it's unnecessary and a distraction if your end goal is PA. I want to be a paramedic and get real experience doing more advanced patient assessments, but it would push PA school at least 2 years back since I'd want to work for at least a year to make it worth it. Being an EMT entails a lot of driving and sitting around the station, and when I do get patient contacts, I'm not in charge unless it's a stable (BLS) patient.
Should I take the time to become a paramedic and get really good experience or should I get as many EMT hours as possible in a year and then apply?
Also, do schools look at how many hours I've worked or do they need to know how much time I spent doing patient care, versus driving and sitting around the station, and how do I record that?
My other main question is whether I should take the GRE or just rely on my MCAT score and not apply to "GRE required" schools. I live in CA and would like to stay in California, or at least in the west (CA, OR, WA, CO, AZ, NV, NM). This might be a question for a separate thread.
I know this is a lot, but it's pretty much everything on my mind right now, please feel free to only answer a portion of it if you want.
Thanks so much for the help!